Virginia Tech pitcher Maggie Tyler continued to rack up strikeouts at an impressive rate and the Hokies held off the University of Hawaii softball team in a 3-1 win on Thursday in the Hawaii Pacific Health Rainbow Wahine Classic.
Tyler struck out 12 UH hitters to raise her season total to 104 in her 14th appearance of the season and Virginia Tech handed the Rainbow Wahine (17-11) their second straight loss in the tournament.
The tournament continues Friday with UH set to face St. Bonaventure at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Virginia Tech catcher Katey Smith gave Tyler a lead by a drilling a two-run double to the right-center gap in the top of the first.
UH threatened in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Heather Morales hit a grounder to second baseman Kylie McGoldrick who threw to plate for the force out. Smith then caught Keiki Carlos off the third base bag for a double play and Tyler got a strikeout to end the inning.
UH got a run back in the third inning after Kayla Wartner walked and went to third on Carlos’ double to left-center. Sarina Jaramillo’s bouncer up the middle was snagged by Tyler and Wartner was caught in a rundown. But the throw to the plate hit her in the back and Wartner scored.
The Hokies capitalized on a UH error to add to the lead in the top of the fifth. The error extended the inning and Kelsey Mericka followed with a single over the third-base bag to drive in McGoldrick.
UH put the tying runs on base in the bottom of the sixth, but a ground out to shortstop ended the threat.
Tyler walked Leisha Li’ili’i to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but came back with two strikeouts and ended the game with a ground out to third.